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>> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america." twin bomb attacks kill almost 40 in damascus amid fears of bloodshed in syria. but who is responsible? final tributes to paid to the man who helped free his country from communism. and preserving a mighty church organ. be pushes on to find these giant instruments a new home -- the push is on to find these giant instruments a new home. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the globe. is difficult to imagine the situation in syria getting much
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worse. over the months, a standoff between protesters and security forces have become increasingly violent. some feel the country is on the brink of civil war. but what happens today is unprecedented in the conflict. more than 40 were killed in what is believed to been two suicide bombings in damascus. the opposition accused the government itself for trying to influence the team of arab league observers. >> this was a devastating escalation of syria's vineland's. -- vineland's. is revoked the terror of neighboring iraq. cars packed with explosives. here, a vehicle mangled by the blast. and all of this happened in an
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area that should be one of the most secure in the country. the dead and wounded were said to include security personnel and civilians. >> television broadcast images of survivors as they recovered in hospital. >> i saw a black car and an explosion. then i was in the hospital. >> the attack struck at the heart of president bashar al- assad's security establishment. within 20 minutes, for al-qaeda was blamed for the blast. this was not the way to achieve democracy, the government said. the opposition says this attack was orchestrated by the government to discredit the opposition. the government announces the accusation. >> it is immoral.
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we would never sacrifice the lives of our citizens. >> with independent media ban or severely restricted by the regime, it is impossible to investigate the claims. the arab league observers were taken to witness the aftermath, but warned by america to not allow what has happened to impede the investigation of human rights and to syria. -- human-rights in syria. this woman came from a village in the north where the opposition and the army conflicts led to massacres of hundreds of civilians. the bloody crackdown on the opposition continues. in homs, a citadel of resistance, and men brave government snipers.
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elsewhere, fighters. it is emblematic of a country spiraling into violence. >> for more on today's attacks, p. j. crowley, a former state department spokesman, join me a short time ago. >> it has been noted that the government blamed al-qaeda and put this attack together with the protests seen within this remarkable year. is in their interest to do that. it could be al-qaeda. al-qaeda is the simplest explanation. al-qaeda has been largely sidelined this year. more likely, it is a sunni attack iran -- sunni attack. you have the gulf, the sunni who
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have the majority in the country. is it sunni-directed violence against the establishment? this is not on the best terms. >> of course, the opposition, the question that this the whole time. why would that be the case? >> first and foremost, for a brutal repressive government, this tells you how their grip is not what it used to be. syria has been a state sponsor of terrorism, but not a victim of terrorism. this shows you it is beyond the ability of the regime to control what is beyond its borders. >> would you expects -- would you expect this to become ever more dangerous? >> we will see how the government reacts to this. if they return brutal violence with an escalation, this could turn into something very ugly.
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potentially civil war. >> this is the latest in a series of statements. what more than issuing a piece of paper, can washington and the west do now? >> i think the syrian regime is a dead man walking. but they still retain control of the security forces. there could be spasms of violence. syria is a different country than libya. in libya, there was an effective military intervention. that does not exist at present because you primarily to not have a consensus within the region. impending arab league observer mission is still very important. >> do you have faith? >> whereas in the case of libya and saudi crystallization, it
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could get to the point where there is more involvement from the international community in the region. we are not there yet. >> thank you. among the countries taking a leading role in the push for change in syria, turkey. unsurprisingly, relations between the two have soured. the free trade agreement has been abolished. and what was a flourishing trade agreement has been broken. our correspondent has been to the area to assess the fallout. >> turkey owes its economic success to many things. among them, pasta. this factory is in exports to italy. and much of it goes to the middle east. >> we have exported a lot of our
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products to syria. we hope to be sending thank you -- pasta to 11 on. >> it is uncharacteristically quiet these days. >> try to imagine what this was like just a few months ago. with tractors lined up as far as you can see, with thousands of syrian visitors coming back the other way. is a vivid illustration of how bad relations have come -- it is a vivid illustration of how bad relations at become. we saw syrian drivers. heavy fees have been imposed for cargo traveling through syria.
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now the business community is reeling. on the high-end, once a magnet for syrian shoppers. they used to come here. those are visiting ministers. there are hard questions for the policy for syria. it is a very pro-business government, but they did not get much reassurance from this minister. >> there is no real obstacle. our trade is continuing. i know some businesses have been affected here. but i gather people will be patient. >> it you feel the government has handled the situation? -- how do you feel the government has handled this situation? have they been helpful? >> not really.
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there is no dialogue, so it is not good. >> it has come to symbolize the new wealth of modern turkey. it does have middle eastern markets for its products. but the success in syria next door was the real pride of the city. bbc news, turkey. >> in other news, thousands of egyptians have attended a rally in tahrir square. at least 17 have been killed in the last week in clashes, demanding in the ruling class is give up power. at a woman was beaten in anger. the congolese officials of held an official ceremony.
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today he tried to hold a swearing-in ceremony. police blocked his entry and fired tear gas to disperse supporters. buckingham palace as the duke of edinburgh has been taken to hospital suffering chest pains. the queen's husband was undergoing precautionary checks. we have the details. >> this is what we know. he is 90 years old. he has suffered, we're told, just payne's. he has been taken to hospital in cambridge. he has been taken for tests. more than that, neither bucking a palace for the hospital are adding -- buckingham palace. members of the royal family are there with him. there's clearly, even at his age, given the fact he is a 90-
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year-old who has suffered chest pains, there is a sense of concern that is inevitable and natural. there is no sense of alarm among officials at buckingham palace. there waiting for the verdict, the information from the specialists at hospital. >> that is our real correspondent there on the condition of prince philip tonight. he was the people's poet who helped guide his country in the struggle against communism. vaclav havel was a poet and dissidents. he died on sunday. world leaders and thousands of checks citizens gathered for the state funeral. the pope praised his visionary leadership. 1 ordinary woman summed it up best perhaps by saying "he was our star. he gave us democracy." >> it is the flag of the country
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he led out of dictatorship. now the unwanted lime light falls on his widow. immense morals stature abroad leaders of the democratic world here today to honor the shipyard worker who helped topple communism. the french head of state, the brought u.s. secretaries of state, a former president. at noon, they sounded the sirens and the church bells across the czech lands. >> the former u.s. secretary of state madeleine albright, cz ech-born, said that he had
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confronted his dealers with the truth. vaclav havel was a playwright who emerged as part of a group of young dissidents, determined to confront communist authority. day after day in 1989, he led hundreds of thousands in protests until the communist regime collapsed. he made the journey from the prison cell to the presidency in a matter of weeks. dieting belief was that the truth would always triumph -- guiding believe was the truth always triumph over allied. today, it is though the country has stopped to pay tribute to a man for the effect his principal has had on their lives. legacy?havel's 22 years ago this was a country
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that put poets and playwrights and priests in prison. the archbishop was himself jailed along washavel. -- alongside havel. today, a free and democratic people play their homage -- pay their homage. bbc news, prog. >> remarkable live. still to come -- from wall street to the eurozone, it has been a bruising year, but is it part of the global shift? a series of powerful earthquakes have hit the city of christchurch in new zealand, 10 months after a quake there killed over 180 people. this time, there were no deaths, but it shattered the nerves of people. here is duncan kennedy with the details.
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>> the power of the quake rattled the entire city of christchurch, including the supermarket. shoppers were thrown into a chaotic scramble for the exit. these people have lived through the last earthquake 10 months ago and knew what was capable of. >> we were trying to run now. >> pretty vineland's. -- violent. stuff was falling off the shelves. >> at local television stations, workers hid under their desks, afraid of collapsing ceilings. buildings shook for several seconds, forcing people to race to the relative safety of the st..
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both major shocks registered well over magnitude 5. >> it is sad it has happened at this time of the year. >> in the aftermath, the city was subject to landslides and flooding. >> i told them, i have had enough. >> there are people in the country who have come to believe their worst fortunes play ahead. bbc news. >> today the u.s. congress finally passed an extension of the payroll tax cuts that had been going down to the wire.
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across the atlantic, governments have not fallen and the word austerity has come to mean something rather real and european. however, if you're in shanghai, you probably had a different year. does this mean the dominance of the west is about to end? in his new book, "civilization," niall ferguson without his theories. thank you for joining us. are we done for? >> not necessarily. this is not a case of irreversible decline. we have to get our act together. if you think about china, india, brazil, it is also partly to do with us doing things worse. not just politically, but
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economically, too. >> is there a sense of what we have seen this year is the limit of governments? no matter how much money you put into the system -- president obama as a case in point -- that stimulus package had a small effect on the margins? the financial markets have a disproportionate amount of power. >> if you think 500 years ago, it was not governments that caused the rise of the west to happen. they made the west for ahead of the rest. it was not keynesian fiscal policy. these measures that have become part of our lives are essentially 20th-century inventions, cooked up in the 1930's an 1940's. in fairness to today's
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politicians, they've done a better job dealing with the fiscal crisis than their predecessors in let's say 1932. but you have to remember the real drivers were not government. the drivers were innovators in the private sector, and those people who built up the institutions that are the bedrock of our democracy. a system of voluntary associations that we call civil society. unfortunately, the results are happening here. the debate today in the west is about how much can the government solve my problem rather than what can i do to solve my problem? >> if we focus on europe for the moment, i am struck that in greece and italy, you had a form of could a taught there -- coup de etat there. what is your explanation there?
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>> is nice in my view, the crisis at the epicenter -- athens and rome. what we are seeing is the slow and painful birth of a federal europe. this is almost becoming the united states of eurozone. this means that countries lose sovereignty. not over monetary policy. that happened years ago. but over fiscal policy. you are denying power to the voters. we're in a very transitional stage. the german government is in the driving seat. but fundamentally what has happened is the same dynamics that created the united states of america. the states have to surrender their sovereignty or the system falls apart.
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>> niall ferguson there, the author of "civilization." now, synonymous with the holiday season. family arguments or sleigh bells. the mighty boom of the organ. but the traditional pipe organ may be under threat. production has slowed down and many churches cannot maintain the instruments they have. but as jane o'brien reports, some are racing to save the instrument. ♪ >> for centuries, the church has chosen the pipe organ as the instrument of worship. but now, more earthly forces are threatening it. this is one of hundreds of organs destined for the scrap
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heap. and although this church in new york is installing a new instrument, many others cannot afford a replacement or the cost of maintenance. john bishop has made it his life's mission to save them. >> part of what we are doing is salvaging some of the original voices,ce -- organ's knowing we will use them in other instruments. these are the pipes that are close to 100 years old. >> do they still work? >> yes, they still work. >> organs can take years to build, and the level of craftsmanship rivals that of chipmakers. each one represents a unique piece of america's religious history. but churches trying to attract younger consecrations find other forms of music more appealing. >> there's a movement in the
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american church which is generally called contemporary worship. where instead of a pipe organ or traditional music, they have a rock bands or country bands or jazzmans used for worship. >> dwindling congregations are another threat. elsewhere, the longing for the pipe organ is strong. with all these various parts, john and his company have rescued 2000 organs and found new homes for them around the world. 1 it even went to china. -- one even went to china. ♪ david is a nationally acclaimed musicians. he was able to find a 100-year replacement from a chapel in may. >> the music i make will only be
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as good as the instrument i have. the difference of be temporary substitute to the real genuine pipe organ is the difference of a chef who has been cooking plastic food and finally gets real food again. >> hundreds of other organs still need homes, but here, at least, is a match made in heaven. jane o'brien, bbc news, new york. >> well, on that note, today's show comes to close. for all of our viewers to celebrate christmas, have a wonderful holiday weekend. next week, you're bulletin's will be coming from london with the same up-to-date coverage of world events. in the new year, we will be back with katty kay reporting from iowa. for all of this year from bbc world news america, thank you for watching.
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>> make sense of international news at >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> union bank offers unique insight and expertise in a range of industries. what can we do for you?
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>> "bbc world news america" was presented by kcet los angeles.
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(george chattering excitedly) this program was made possible by: >> ♪ i'm a whirlibird... >> chuck e. cheese's, proud supporter of pbs kids, solutes all the parents who know staying active with their kids is fun and healthy for them. >> ♪ i'm a whirlibird. >> pbs kids, where a kid can be a kid. for over 90 years, stride rite's been there, from the first wobbly walk to the first day of school, helping you choose the right shoes. stride rite is a proud sponsor of curious george. rainforest cafe, proud sponsor of curious george, reminding you that anyone can make the world a brighter place by conserving our natural resources. when you're saving one can... both: you're saving toucans! (toucan squawks) funding for curious george is provided by contributions to your pbs station...
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ooh. ...and from: ♪ you never do know what's around the bend ♪ ♪ big adventure or a brand-new friend ♪ ♪ when you're curious like curious george ♪ ♪ swing! ♪ ♪ well, every day ♪ every day ♪ ♪ is so glorious ♪ glorious ♪ george! ♪ and everything ♪ everything ♪ ♪ is so wondrous ♪ wondrous ♪ ♪ there's more to explore when you open the door ♪ ♪ and meet friends like this, you just can't miss ♪ ♪ i know you're curious ♪ curious ♪ ♪ and that's marvelous ♪ marvelous ♪ ♪ and that's your reward ♪ you'll never be bored ♪ if you ask yourself, "what is this?" ♪ ♪ like curious... ♪ like curious... curious george. ♪ oh... captioning sponsored by nbc/universal

BBC World News America
PBS December 23, 2011 4:00pm-4:30pm PST

News/Business. U.S.-targeted nightly newscast. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Syria 12, America 8, George 6, Pbs 4, Bbc News 4, Turkey 3, Vineland 3, U.s. 3, China 3, Libya 3, New York 3, Niall Ferguson 2, United States 2, Havel 2, Jane O'brien 2, The City 2, Vaclav Havel 2, Christchurch 2, Italy 2, Damascus 2
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